Do you want to work more efficiently, have more control over your time and tasks and take care of the work-rest balance? Try the Pomodoro Technique! It is becoming an increasingly popular method of planning tasks in short blocks of time interspersed with regular breaks. The Pomodoro technique was developed in the 1980s by Italian Francesco Cirillo. He was inspired by a kitchen timer… in the shape of a tomato.
Who is the Pomodoro technique good for?
The Pomodoro technique is great for people who:
- are easily distracted from work/study, for example checking social media news very often.
- try to do several things at once and have trouble finishing tasks.
- forget to take breaks and may not get up from the computer for several hours. Some people neglect basic physiological needs such as eating and resting.
- have difficulty in planning their work/study time and tasks.
More about obstacles to your productivity at work you can read here.
The Pomodoro technique helps us maintain the balance between the state of focus (work) and the state of rest (break) / photo: Karolina Grabowska
How to use it?
- Prepare a device to measure time, for instance, a timer on your phone. Some applications support this method. It is worth using them if Pomodoro proves to be effective for you.
- Make a list of the tasks you have to do that day. These can be small, single tasks, or large tasks broken down into smaller subtasks. Important: a task should be manageable in 25 minutes, if it is more complex, break it down into parts. Moreover, always prioritize and consider which tasks are most important to you or need to be completed first.
- Try to eliminate all distractions that can break your state of focus. Turn off notifications, and mute your phone if you can. Consciously eliminating distractions, especially those that give us pleasure, can be challenging. If your willpower is weak, you can use a program to block certain functions on your phone or computer.
- Here we go! Set your timer for 25 minutes. In that time, try to fully focus on the first task on your list. When you hear the beep that the time has passed, cross the task off your list. If you haven’t finished it in that time, or if you have a new task that needs to be done, add it as another item on the list.
- The time has come for a reward. Take a five-minute break. Take that time to step away from the computer, look out of the window, and stretch. Although it’s a very short break, it will allow you to recuperate and refocus on your next tasks. It will also help you avoid fatigue and work weariness.
- Repeat this cycle (25 minutes of work + 5 minutes of break) 4 times. After this time, take a longer break (15-30 minutes) for a coffee, a meal, or a walk.
- After the break, start another round of 4 Pomodoro.
Music for Pomodoro
If listening to music helps you to maintain concentration, it is worth enhancing the effectiveness of your work in 25-minute series with a dose of appropriate sounds. This is great for people who work in places where distracting noises are coming from everywhere. Putting on headphones and turning on music will then build a barrier from the outside world and help you immerse yourself in what you’re doing. Music sessions will not only enhance your concentration, but they will also help you distinguish between a state of focus (work, study) and a time of relaxation (break).
What kind of music promotes focus? The kind of music that is in the background, doesn’t engage your attention too much. Music shouldn’t distract you from the task at hand. The more complex and developed the music is, the more emotional charge it conveys, and the more energy we have to put into its reception.
For work or study, we recommend the music for concentration composed by Muzaic. You can find more musical inspiration to boost your productivity on our YouTube channel.
The phenomenon of the Pomodoro technique
The success and popularity of the Pomodoro technique are due to several factors, which give numerous benefits for us:
- We work intensively in relatively short periods, which makes it easier for us to stay focused and refrain from reaching for distractions. It is because we know that it will soon be time for a break.
- 5 minutes is long enough to recover and short enough to get back into focus after a break. Our brain perceives the break as a reward. As a result during the break, it releases dopamine, which aids relaxation.
- With the Pomodoro technique, we learn a very useful skill: to set and prioritize specific tasks that can be done in a given time frame.
- Moreover, we can observe what is the most serious „time eater” in our lives and what limits our productivity. In addition, we can find out how much time we need to complete specific types of tasks.
- Dividing work or study into smaller tasks and „ticking off” what has already been accomplished gives us satisfaction. We can quickly see the first results of our efforts.
- The „regime” we impose on ourselves puts our body and mind into a healthy rhythm. It teaches us that there is time to be focused and time to rest. With time, this will become our habit.